There was a time in society where children were taught to help others who had a weakness (or what we now refer to as a “special need”). It was a part of our country’s moral fiber, in which those with physical or emotional needs were helped by their fellow citizens–not simply relying solely on organizations designed specifically to address their needs.
Unfortunately, there seems to be a group of citizens—participants in the ‘grand governmental experiment’ called the Obama administration–that missed those lessons in life. These government organizations have lost focus on the true needs of our communities, and now behave as bullies, saying in effect, “All needs are equal, therefore, we cannot/should not create special opportunities to help those with special needs.”
The line between those who feel they are entitled to any and all forms of governmental assistance–whether truly deserving or not–and those who actually need special consideration but don’t want to be a “burden on society”, has become so blurred, it almost looks as if a huge eraser has eliminated the line completely.
Recently, a group of senior citizens, who are either hearing impaired or completely deaf, have been targeted by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). These senior citizens live in a specialized residential community, designed for their specific needs, in Tempe, Arizona. The residential community, Apache ASL Trails, (ASL standing for American Sign Language) is a specially designed community for residents with partial or complete hearing loss.
According to Gallaudet University Library, the population of senior citizens (ages 65 and over), who have hearing problems including deaf and hard of hearing, 29.1% of this age group, have some type of hearing loss. The Apache ASL Trails is designed and equipped for senior citizens who are either hearing impaired or legally deaf. A deaf individual designed the residence, to suit the needs of this special part of our community. Formulated with blinking lights to signal when the doorbell rings and to indicate to residents when the garbage disposal and air conditioner are running. Videophones were also installed, for residents to talk, through sign language, with friends.
HUD was fully aware of the plans for the ASL community when it provided funds, beginning in 2007. Now, however, in a recent audit done by HUD, it is threatening to remove its support of the residential community, claiming Apache Trails is violating HUD regulations by giving “preference or priority to a particular group”. Apache ASL Trails’ website does indicate it is designed to serve the needs of the hearing-impaired; however it never says no one else can apply for residency. It seems odd for someone who is fully hearing to willingly choose to live in a nearly silent community, but as a result, HUD is threatening to withdraw financial support of the project, if Apache Trails doesn’t limit its hearing impaired residents to 18 out of 75 available units.
Is our government so irrational and entrenched in the need for “entitlements for all” that it cannot see the preposterous nature of the idea of recanting apartments, designed with special needs in mind, to make these residences available, to those without these specialized needs? The National Association of the Deaf, in a letter to HUD, described this action as a type of “forced integration”.
As residential units become available, HUD wants the management of the facility to “block off” the units as they are vacated. Residents will not be forcibly removed or asked to leave the community, but it would appear HUD is giving all indications no “new” hearing impaired residents will be offered apartments.
What is HUD’s ultimate goal? From all indications, it appears HUD is trying to impose “equality of housing” in areas where it is definitely creating inequality. By impeding a special needs portion of our population from having housing which will provide them security, accommodation fitting for their needs, and independence by asking them to relinquish the opportunity to live in such a planned community, to satisfy and equal housing formula, is reprehensible.
The Obama administration has taken their desire to flatten out our society and make everyone and everything “equal” to a new low. With Obamacare, their intention is to punish those who manage their lives independently of the government in order to appease and accommodate those who are capable of doing so but choose not to.
By limiting Apache ASL Trails housing opportunities for the hearing impaired—to make room for people wanting government housing–is not only ridiculous, it doesn’t economically consider the waste of technology and funding used to specialize each unit for the deaf. It also puts the hearing impaired residents back into a security risk environment. Security and safety risks should be the first concern for HUD administrators. What business does a hearing person have living in a residential community specifically designed for the hearing impaired? And what assurances would HUD be able to guarantee to non-hearing residents and their families that their safety would not be compromised? Not all people needing government-assisted housing are high security risks, but in many cases, government housing attracts people with less-than-positive intentions and might possibly attract societal “traffic” which could potentially create a less secure environment for deaf residents.
All for the sake of HUD advancing the Obama Administration’s socialistic ideas of redistribution for equality, no matter what the cost.
Another concern to residents of Apache ASL Trails is in regards to all of the specialized equipment installed in the apartments. Will new hearing residents have them removed? If you do not have a need for flashing lights to indicate something working, most individuals will either ask for them to be removed or try to remove the feature themselves. The professional removal of these unique and useful tools will require huge renovations, and/or eventual repairs due to the reckless removal by unworthy residents. Of course, HUD will be using additional governmental funds—aka our tax dollars–for all of this additional work.
HUD provided $1.8 million in tax credits to the Arizona Deaf Senior Citizens Coalition and the Apache ASL Trails developer to build the facility, as well as other federal funds, including HOME funds, in the time frame between 2007 and 2009. Economic woes slowed the project, resulting in the complex opening in 2011. So what has changed the fabric and focus of HUD and its understanding of this specialized project since the time funding was awarded? Is it due to the “change” and “transforming” goals of the Obama Administration?
For the record, Obama can’t blame this one on President Bush; it was under the Bush Administration that funding was requested—and it is now under the Obama Administration that this funding is threatening to be revoked.
Hopefully people are starting to realize exactly how the Obama Administration feels about certain sections of America’s population. While the Left has always claimed to be the “compassionate ones”, stories like this one prove what their real motivations are–to create unnecessary entitlements and a grossly government-dependent society.
The residents at Apache ASL Trails don’t want to be dependent on government. They simply want to have the opportunity to live independently—which seems to be the opposite of what the Obama administration wants for anyone living in America.